NORTHERN Ireland’s inaugural 30 Under 30 Climate Change-Makers have completed their workshops with Ruairi Brogan, Policy Officer for Sustainable Agriculture at RSPB NI, from Belfast, selected by class peers to represent Northern Ireland at the North American Association for Environmental Education Conference 2023 (NAAEE23), taking place in October.
The programme – the first of its kind existing in the UK – is designed by environmental charity Keep North-
ern Ireland Beautiful and co-delivered with leadership and events consultancy Podiem, and draws on an international initiative introduced by NAAEE that empowers and engages young people making a difference to the environment.
Ruairi and his class peers were selected after a competitive application process in November 2022 and over the past six months have completed various workshops led by world class leaders to develop as climate champions and build relationships with fellow young pioneers in the field.
At the final workshop Ruairi pre-sented his idea to combine his passions for both traditional music and climate action by creating a series of traditional Irish music get togethers called ‘Wild Seisiúns’ in various wild locations, with the aim to build resilient communities, ignite passion, focus on culture and care, and, ultimately, inspire action. Ruairi’s vision is to kick off his campaign during ‘Window on Wildlife’s Wild Week’, with a launch event at Belfast Harbour reserve called ‘A Good Night’s Quack’.
Ruairi said: “Being selected by my peers to represent Northern Ireland at this year’s NAAEE23 Conference is an honour. I’m really looking forward to networking with like-minded people from across the globe and bringing learnings home to Northern Ireland.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the programme workshops and feel I have benefitted substantially from spending time with the guest speakers and my peers over the last few months. It has been a great example of real capacity building. I’ve always been passionate about the environment, and I now feel more confident in applying that passion to tackle the nature and climate crises.”
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